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Dust devil turns fire into a swirling nightmare

Published March 21, 2014 7:19 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A prescribed burn turned into a fiery hellscape last week in Colorado.

The video above shows what was supposed to be a normal, 150-acre prescribed burn near the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, according to a Colorado TV station. The burn got out of hand, however, when a massive dust devil began swirling plants, tumble weeds and embers through the air.

Firefighter Thomas Rogers captured the scene on video, and called it "interesting" in a TV interview. He also said there was nothing firefighters could do but run for safety.

Luckily, the dust devil did not cause any property damage.

Swirling columns of air are not necessarily uncommon during fires. During last year's Rockport Fire near Park City, witnesses saw numerous "fire whirls" on the hillsides. That more extreme phenomenon is caused by a combination of heat and high wind.

Finally, one other thing: if you aren't a fan of heavy metal, you may want to watch the video on mute. It's worth a watch with or without audio, which in this case the music won't be everyone's cup of tea.

Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @jimmycdii